Saturday, April 13, 2013

SIA Newsletter 4 12 2013 - Flood Zone Stuff; Property Taxes; Fires; Recycling; Franks to Whale Creek; Lost & Found; Mahjong; Walkers; Restaurants; Tax Returns; USPS; SURF

To All Strathmere and Whale Beach Homeowners and Visitors,

It's been some time since our last newsletter, so we have lots to share...

Our February 11, 2013 Newsletter on flood zones and flood insurance has been posted on the new Upper Township website here (under General Information... Announcements... Super Storm Sandy).  We suggest you make the website location one of your "favorites" or "bookmarks", as you'll probably want to refer to it as the BFE / FIRM saga continues to unfold...
At the FEMA Meeting at Township Hall on February 23, we asked the FEMA representatives to review our document for accuracy. We were pleased that they responded, "This was one of the most accurate write-ups (we) have seen in awhile. It was extremely thorough". While they recommended a few word changes, none were related to the accuracy of the document.


As many of you know, the local papers have been filled with articles and letters on the flood heights and zones in the Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps released by FEMA in December.

 Lynn Fayter wrote a great letter to the Press of Atlantic City, here, that most of us would agree with. The Press also published this "guest editorial" from the Biloxi (Mississippi) Sun outlining the pain Gulf Coast residents are feeling.  Unfortunately, many people in the area between the Garden State Parkway and the West Coast (except for the Southern Coast, river valleys, etc.), probably agree with this letter to the Press. With all the issues facing Congress, it seems there is little chance they will revisit the 2012 National Flood Insurance Program law any time soon.

 As explained in the 2/11 Newsletter, FEMA said at the time they released the ABFE's that they were conservative, meaning that they were more strict than the preliminary maps to be issued later this year. Municipalities in South Jersey are now working together so that once the preliminary maps are issued, they can make a coordinated appeal. We believe that the "V-Zones" will be scaled back, but that the new elevation requirements will not change much.

Taxes: the Upper Township Committee voted for no tax increase, holding the rate at 9.4 cents per $100 of assessed value, or $940 on a Strathmere property assessed at $1.0 million. The Upper Township School Board, however, voted for a 3.5 cent tax rate increase, which means that school taxes on that $1.0 million property will increase from $10,110 to about $10,460, or by $350.



Fire Danger - If you follow us on Facebook, you know that we've had several fires and even more "close calls".

The former Curran Real Estate Building (and Strathmere's first Post Office in 1912) suffered a fire that originated from the furnace, and caused significant first floor damage.


There was a second fire at a home on South Bayview Drive in Whale Beach, just off Taylor Avenue, that apparently started from wiring corrupted by Sandy.

This one was fought with several feet of bay water in the street.


Quick action by the Strathmere Volunteer Fire Company prevented a total loss in both cases, but it was close. The SVFC also reported a number of "near misses" where wiring exposed to salt water during Sandy nearly started additional fires.
If you had flooding in your home and haven't had the wiring checked by an electrician, please do so!


Trash Collection Info - Upper Township has revamped their website. You can find info on trash and recycling collection schedules here.


"Single Stream" Recycling - Cape May County has installed equipment that will permit all recycling products to be mixed together by residents. There is optimism that this will increase the amount of products recycled, resulting in both reduced collection / landfill costs and costs to our environment. The Township has already begun collecting our recyclables on this basis.

 Here are the items that can be mingled curbside:
aluminum, glass, newspapers, office paper, junk mail, magazines, steel and tin cans, aerosol cans, plastics labeled #1-7, rigid plastic five gallons or less (such as buckets), uncontaminated cardboard boxes (such as pizza or cereal), paperback books, phone books, non-foil wrapping paper, six-pack rings, microwave trays, health, beauty and cleaning containers, yogurt and margarine tubs, shredded paper, brown paper bags.

Do not recycle:
food-contaminated boxes, styrofoam, plastic egg cartons, wax-coated cardboard, window glass, paint cans, light bulbs, plastic bags, pvc pipe, chemical or hazardous products.


 No more boat rentals in Strathmere! Frank and Candy Jankowski have sold their business (not the real estate) to Morgan and Missy Delaney, so boats, tackle, website, etc. will all be moving to Whale Creek Marina in Whale Beach.

If you took the Centennial Trolley Tour last year, you'll remember that Oscar Wermuth started Oscar's boats in 1926. Frank's dad (also Frank) bought out Oscar in 1950 and it's been Frank's Boats ever since. Best wishes to Frank and Candy and to Morgan and Missy!


Lost and Found:
Found - We reported on this dock box after Sandy, and it washed around again in the March Nor'easter. It's a very nice box (though the water sheared off the hasp) and is filled with crabbing equipment.
Lost - A recycling container identical to this one, and the brown matching lids for both - lost in the Nor'easter.

If you have info on either of these, please reply to this newsletter. Thanks!


A group of Strathmere women is forming to learn and play Mahjong at the Schiavo library. A schedule will be available soon.


Also, some residents are interested in starting a “Walking Group.” It will be open to anyone who would like to walk as a form of exercise or socialization, and will be a loosely formed group that will meet at 21 Williams Road at 8:15 AM daily, starting Memorial Day weekend. Everyone is welcome. There are no rules or requirements. The starting date is Saturday, May 25th @ 8:15 AM. Some suggested names are the "Ludlum Steppers" or the "Corson Crawlers", but the name has not been finalized...


We're getting close to many of our favorites reopening for the season. At present, the Deauville Inn is open five days a week and Mildred's is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Both Twisties and Uncle Bill's will reopen on May 10 for Mothers' Day Weekend. We're not sure of the date for La Fontana.


Tax returns are due this Monday, April 15. If you had a property loss from Sandy exceeding 10% of your adjusted gross income, remember to complete Form 4684 and deduct the remaining loss on Schedule A. If you already filed, you can complete a 1040X.


Postal Hours Changing - We are sorry to report that the USPS has announced it will not honor the wishes of Strathmere residents, and will institute four-hour (only) window service from 12:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday beginning Monday, May 20. Boxes will be available in the mornings, though that day's mail will not be sorted and available until around 1:30. Thanks to those of you who wrote to elected officials attempting to have the Postal Service honor our request for morning hours.


SURF - The SURF treasury is quite low but committee members are still seeking information on anyone who has suffered damages and is in need of some help - especially as folks open up after the storm. Email: Donations of cash and gift cards are welcome. Checks should be made payable to Strathmere United Methodist Church, and mailed to SURF, PO Box 49, Strathmere, NJ 08248


Remember to follow and "like" the SIA (click the "Thumbs Up" box ) on Facebook:
You'll get an early look at lots of things going on in Strathmere!

Upcoming Events - please mark your calendars:
Ocean City DooDah Parade, Noon, Saturday April 13
SFEC Membership Meeting, 4:00pm, Saturday, April 20
SFEC Surf Fishing Tournament, Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11
SFEC Herb Hollinger, Sr Opening Day Flounder Tournament, Saturday, May 18
Schiavo Library Used Book Sale, May 24 to June 14
Strathmere Fourth of July Parade, 10:30am, Thursday, July 4
SIA Meeting, 8:00pm, Friday, July 12 (time & date tentative)
SIA Meeting, 8:00pm, Friday, August (time & date tentative)
Nightmare in Strathmere Boat Parade, 6:30pm, Saturday, August 24

Let us know of additions or corrections!

And once again, check out Carol Baker's wonderful Strathmere History website at



The Strathmere Improvement Association includes all owners in Strathmere and Whale Beach and many visitors. It was founded in 1951 as a community organization with the simple objective of making Strathmere a better place. We are proud of the organization's many accomplishments over the years.

Please let us know if you have comments or suggestions for the newsletter or for SIA in general, or if you'd like us to change your e-mail address in our records.

You can contact us by responding to this e-mail at or by mailing SIA at PO Box 57, Strathmere 08248.



Thanks very much for your continuing support of the Strathmere Improvement Association!
Linda Bateman
Elaine Holsomback
Donna Diefenderfer
Rosemarie Whelan
Ken Weaver


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